Hi, my name's Meredith and I live in Arizona. I am now 14 years old. When I turned 12, I went to my pediatrician and he said that I had scoliosis. I have a bad heart condition and have had 3 surgeries so far to correct it. My mom is especially paranoid with all of my medical problems. I went to see a pediatric orthopedic surgeon about two weeks late after my appointment.
When I first got there, he had me do the typical "bend forward" test which he then immediately saw that I had one very noticeable curve and that my spine was rotated so the vertebrae stuck out a lot. I immediately had several x-rays done.
The results were not good. I had one very large curve immediately above my hips and also a smaller one towards the middle of my back. The large one measured 32 degrees and the smaller one 19. I had one option: bracing.
I wore my brace for a year and a month, and I hated it. I would sneak to school without it on (since I had to wear it 23 hours a day) and refuse to wear it. I was always arguing with one of my parents about it and ended up in tears. But finally, my doctor said that I was done growing and I didn't have to wear it anymore. This was November 17, 2010.
I went back six months later, and found out that my larger curve had worsened to 39 degrees and my smaller one to 24. I go back at the end of December 2011, and if it’s gotten any worse I will need surgery. I'm so scared because I've already spent so much time in the hospital. I have a huge scar down my front and I don't want another matching one down the back.
For those of you who are in a brace now or are getting one, don't skip out on it. I understand what you're going through, with trying to find clothes that fit and worrying about kids at school, and how hot it can be. Summer where I live hit 110 degrees and up regularly, so I know how horrible that can be. But wearing your brace and getting out of surgery is so worth it. I'm a dancer and I have been since I was three, and if I have to get surgery I won't be able to dance at all for a year and I'll never be as good ever again.
So wear your brace with a smile, decorate it, and be proud. You're going through something lots of people couldn't handle, and in the long run it'll be the best thing for you.
Hugs and love,
Thank you so much Meredith for letting me post your story!